A Mayberry State Of Mind
Otis Campbell / Hal Smith
Hal Smith (Otis Campbell) got into acting via various touring road companies. Before serving in the Air Force, Hal worked as a radio disc jockey, band singer, and writer. He moved to Hollywood and supplemented his income by serving as a real estate agent in between acting roles. His first consistent acting role was on the vintage sitcom “I Married Joan” in 1952. He then was signed on as “Otis” on the Andy Griffith Show in 1960. He insisted that he “didn’t think he ever was a drunk in real life”. Since he did not appear in every TAGS episode, he had plenty of time to free lance playing roles such as a drunken Santa in Billy Wilder's “The Apartment” and as a Roman emperor in “The Three Stooges”. Later on he supplied the voice for various cartoon programs such as “Davey and Goliath” and the “Flintstones”. During the 1970’s and 80’s he was most closely associated with Disney using his voice as Goofy and Winnie the Pooh and Friends to Ducktales.
Otis Campbell was born and raised in Mayberry, North Carolina. He is the descendant of the great Nathan Tibbs, a Revolutionary War hero who saved the town of Mayberry by setting fire to the Mayberry Bridge before the enemy could cross it. Otis received a plaque for being the last living relative of Nathan Tibbs and generously donated this plaque to the town of Mayberry.
Otis is known as the lovable town drunk, it is a position that was handed down to him by his father. He has a brother Ralph who is also a town drunk of another town. He is married to the lovely Rita, they have no children. Otis works as a glue dipper in a furniture factory. His hobby is drinking, weekends only, of course! He once gave up drinking to try his hand at mosaics, but quickly discovered his art work was much better while drunk. Otis has his own key to the court house so that after a night of drinking, he can lock himself up in the cell until he is sober enough to go home. This saves Andy and Barney the hassles of having to arrest him. Before leaving in the morning, Barney will sometimes test Otis' sobriety by giving him the Barney Fife Peter Piper Nose Pinching Test for Drunks.
Otis has been deputized on a few occasions. He has a bum knee, in which he hurt while playing football with his wife. Otis is also fond of animals. Once while drunk, he bought a cow that he thought was a horse for $20.00. He has an invisible dog named Spot and an Uncle Nat who resembles a goat.
Otis eventually quit drinking and became the town ice cream man.